Funeral for Digital Data, 2022

Shroud for a laptop; embroidered textile, metal charms, laptop, fresh flowers, 2022.

Living within a society soaked in digital data, we all leave behind a large amount of personal information stored on our computers, smartphones, and other digital devices. As a result, we are now facing the new, scary thought that we may lose everything altogether. This possibility comes with new feelings, and new systems of relationships formed between us and our digital selves which are not fully acknowledged, nor ritualized. 

To think of “A Funeral for Digital Data”, Petrozzi critically attempts to restore and re-enchant our relationship with the internet and technology, while addressing urgent topics, such as loss and grief in the digital age. 

Drawing on traditions in death rituals and mourning rites, Petrozzi activates a material installation to become a place for ceremony and retreat, in which Data can be grieved, digital devices can be mourned and where machines need blessings just as much as humans. 

A three-days long funeral ritual for digital data is activated as the artist performs as a mediator between her personal losses and that of the audience. Inspired by ancient Greek laments, visitors are invited to share their digital loss on a computer (a loved one’s profile being erased from social media, an important picture or text erased, a lifetime of work lost). At the same time, a collection of testimonies taken from the internet is presented as an ongoing archive, creating a collective space for digital care.

Altogether, these laments provide an environment in which other people’s grief could also be heard and experienced. The space showcases elements that reference both funeral ceremonies as well as the digital realm. Discarded devices and revisited altars for offerings create a space for mourning and witnessing. Reminiscent of the artist’s family tradition of making flower crowns for those who have passed, Petrozzi is enacting the production of flower crowns, that will adorn the discarded digital devices within the space. 

“A Funeral for Digital Data” for Onomatopee with the collaboration of Evropa

This project was funded by Creative Industries Fund NL

Official Website A Funeral for Digital Data

Shroud for a laptop; embroidered textile, metal charms, laptop, fresh flowers, 2022.